Whenever things go wrong in the economy the Zimbabwean government is quick to reject responsibility choosing instead to finger businesses and economic saboteurs. Local businesses however are blaming the government over what they call inconsistent policies and discord which come mostly in the form of rashed Statutory Instruments.
We have been witnessing policy inconsistencies and discord between various government departments but going forward there is need to improve on policy consistency to grow the economy and attract investors.Christopher Mugaga ZNC’s CEO
These views were echoed by several other local businesses and their leaders. Innscor’s board Chairman had similar things to say in a statement that accompanied the group’s financial statements.
Further gains can only be made by the country through policy consistency, the removal of the remaining distortionary and arbitrage effects, and through the implementation of clear and non-conflicting laws and regulationsA Chinake Innscor Board Chairman
Innscor are not the only big business to come out guns blazing against the government. Delta too had the same words for the Zimbabwean government: They blamed the government for creating an untenable operating environment that has made it difficult to conduct business without running afoul of some rules and regulations. Often these laws are passed without consultation and come as nasty surprises. The government claims these surprises are necessary in order to catch saboteurs unawares but to this date, it doesn’t seem like it worked.
The industry pointed out to three laws which they said proved the government was confused and not clear on the way forward. There is SI 142 of 2019 which scrapped the multicurrency. This was followed by SI 185 of 2020 which reversed this and then followed by SI 127 of 2021 which forced businesses to use the official rate when converting prices between ZWL and USD.